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Head rolls at leaky homes service

Hon Nick Smith National Party Building & Construction Spokesman

06 July 2005

Head rolls at leaky homes service

The sudden and unexpected departure of the national manager of the Watertight Homes Resolution Service is further evidence of the failure of Labour's response to the leaky homes crisis, says National's Building and Construction spokesman, Nick Smith.

Lisa Ferguson has departed the WHRS following a messy employment dispute with the Government.

"The WHRS legislation introduced and passed in just two weeks in November 2002 promised a speedy, fair and low cost resolution service. Two and a half years and $30 million later, just 13% of claims have been resolved," says Dr Smith.

"Labour's WHRS is a botch up on the same scale as the 111 bungles, NCEA and the Kyoto debacle. Making a scapegoat of the national manager will not fix this huge problem.

"Labour needs to accept that it's legislation is a flop and needs rewriting. It must also reconsider the Government's denial of any responsibility, as the WHRS currently has no moral authority in getting builders and councils to settle.

"Labour must also accept responsibility for this failed appointment. It was nuts to appoint a former psychiatric nurse with no building industry experience to solve the biggest building crisis in our history.

"A key priority for the incoming National Government will be developing a new package to fix the thousands of leaky and rotting homes.

"Too much money has already been wasted on botched appointments and bad processes. We call on the Government to honour the convention of consulting the Opposition on any appointments made three months prior to a general election," says Dr Smith.

ENDS

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